Latest Eee Quirk

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Aug 22, 2009.

  1. My Eee 701 is getting close to two years old now. On Thursday, it developed
    an interesting new problem: while I was in the middle of debugging a server
    software problem at a client's place, with three terminal sessions, a web
    page, and an editing window all open at the same time, the Eee went dead and
    spontaneously rebooted.

    Not much fun. It happened again a few minutes later, and this time I noticed
    the pattern: it was while I was shifting to a more comfortable position with
    the Eee on my lap.

    Clearly, there was a loose connection somewhere. I took the thing home, felt
    it about, and thought that the battery might have a little bit of play in
    it. Which was surprising when you come to think about it, as I had not
    removed the battery since that first day I brought the machine home and set
    it up. I took the battery out, slipped in a fragment of a sheet of paper to
    try to reduce the play, and reinserted it.

    Started the thing up, sat it on my lap, shifted--and everything went black
    and it rebooted.

    Tried two sheets of paper. Tried putting them in a different position. No
    joy--it would die and reboot every time. Gave up and left it aside for a
    bit.

    Today I decided it was not the battery, but the DC connector from the
    charger into the battery, that might have got worn a bit. I've probably
    unplugged and replugged that connector 500 or so times over the last couple
    of years, as I took the Eee to clients' places, friends' places and so on.

    So I set the unit carefully down, booted it up off the battery, and plugged
    in the charger. No sign it was getting any power from the charger. Gently
    fiddled the charger connector a bit, and I saw "starting anacron daemon"
    followed immediately by "stopping anacron daemon".

    Bingo! Ubuntu (and probably other laptop-savvy OSes as well) only runs
    daemons like cron while the machine is on mains, so that they don't prevent
    the machine from going to sleep. So in my jiggling the connector, it had
    made momentary contact, only to lose it again.

    Jiggled it once more--and the machine went dead.

    OK, take a closer look inside the socket on the back of the battery--maybe
    those metal leaves around the inside of the hole have got pushed back a bit
    after so many insertions. So I tried poking at them with a small
    screwdriver. No improvement.

    Corrosion? I tore a small strip of sandpaper, folded it up, and pushed it in
    and out of the hole. I even ripped a smaller strip and poked it in the tiny
    hole on the end of the charger connector that fits over the centre pin in
    the battery socket. Again, no improvement.

    But, while jiggling the connector about, I noticed that holding the body of
    the connector and trying to move that about made no difference to the (lack
    of) contact: I had to hold the wire next to the connector and move that
    about in order to make a difference.

    Current conclusion: the connector is fine, but the wire inside its sealed
    body has become frayed and is only making intermittent contact. I tested
    with a multimeter, and sure enough, I could make the needle flicker from
    zero to full deflection, and back again, if I held the connector stationary,
    but bent and pushed the wire around in the right way. If these contact
    transitions happen at too rapid a rate, it looks like they upset the
    machine's power-management circuitry enough to make it shut down.

    I have a Dick Smith power supply wallwart with a range of selectable
    voltages and a choice of interchangeable DC connectors. Except, wouldn't you
    know it, none of them is exactly right. There's one that's just small enough
    to go in the socket, but its centre hole is too large and so doesn't make
    good contact with the centre pin. When I use this connector, I get a steady
    stream of "starting anacron daemon" followed by "stopping anacron daemon"
    messages, over and over, so the contact is intermittent, though at least it
    doesn't happen rapidly enough to crash the machine. :)
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Aug 22, 2009
    #1
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  2. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    EMB Guest

    Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    > My Eee 701 is getting close to two years old now. On Thursday, it developed
    > an interesting new problem: while I was in the middle of debugging a server
    > software problem at a client's place, with three terminal sessions, a web
    > page, and an editing window all open at the same time, the Eee went dead and
    > spontaneously rebooted.


    You're nuts using a toy as a work tool. Sort of sums you up quite
    nicely really.
    EMB, Aug 22, 2009
    #2
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  3. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    victor Guest

    EMB wrote:
    > Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >> My Eee 701 is getting close to two years old now. On Thursday, it
    >> developed an interesting new problem: while I was in the middle of
    >> debugging a server software problem at a client's place, with three
    >> terminal sessions, a web page, and an editing window all open at the
    >> same time, the Eee went dead and spontaneously rebooted.

    >
    > You're nuts using a toy as a work tool. Sort of sums you up quite
    > nicely really.


    Its hard to avoid nasty little dc power supplies and crappy molded dc
    plugs for all sorts of stuff that I use in my workplace. I try and
    substitute din rail Traco psus in installations wherever I can but I'm
    really used to seeing power strips full of dc wall warts in some fairly
    critical locations.
    What can you do ? Cable tie them ? thats about it.
    victor, Aug 23, 2009
    #3
  4. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    eyes Guest

    EMB wrote:
    > Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >> My Eee 701 is getting close to two years old now. On Thursday, it
    >> developed an interesting new problem: while I was in the middle of
    >> debugging a server software problem at a client's place, with three
    >> terminal sessions, a web page, and an editing window all open at the
    >> same time, the Eee went dead and spontaneously rebooted.

    >
    > You're nuts using a toy as a work tool. Sort of sums you up quite
    > nicely really.


    So what would take into a tightly packed server room? An HP DL380 G5??

    Personally I like netbooks for a range of purposes. Best part is they
    pack in the power of a desktop from a few years ago into a small
    platform which is more than capable of most tasks.
    eyes, Aug 23, 2009
    #4
  5. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Carnations Guest

    On Sun, 23 Aug 2009 13:36:31 +1200, eyes wrote:

    > So what would take into a tightly packed server room? An HP DL380 G5??


    You'd take nothing - not even a cellphone - because no visitor is permitted to take an unapproved electronic device
    into a datacentre!


    --
    "Filtering the Internet is like trying to boil the ocean"
    Carnations, Aug 23, 2009
    #5
  6. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Enkidu Guest

    Carnations wrote:
    > On Sun, 23 Aug 2009 13:36:31 +1200, eyes wrote:
    >
    >> So what would take into a tightly packed server room? An HP DL380
    >> G5??

    >
    > You'd take nothing - not even a cellphone - because no visitor is
    > permitted to take an unapproved electronic device into a datacentre!
    >

    That's bollux, Lennier. All you have to do is get permission from the
    Data Centre manager and you could roll a Cray in there.

    Cheers,

    Cliff

    --

    The Internet is interesting in that although the nicknames may change,
    the same old personalities show through.
    Enkidu, Aug 23, 2009
    #6
  7. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    EMB Guest

    eyes wrote:
    > EMB wrote:
    >> Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >>> My Eee 701 is getting close to two years old now. On Thursday, it
    >>> developed an interesting new problem: while I was in the middle of
    >>> debugging a server software problem at a client's place, with three
    >>> terminal sessions, a web page, and an editing window all open at the
    >>> same time, the Eee went dead and spontaneously rebooted.

    >>
    >> You're nuts using a toy as a work tool. Sort of sums you up quite
    >> nicely really.

    >
    > So what would take into a tightly packed server room? An HP DL380 G5??


    I'd generally do it from outside the server room - the only reason for
    being in there is to make physical changes or use the console - neither
    of which require a netwook with piss-poor screen resolution.
    >
    > Personally I like netbooks for a range of purposes. Best part is they
    > pack in the power of a desktop from a few years ago into a small
    > platform which is more than capable of most tasks.


    I like my IBM T43 - not a lot bulkier than a netbook, decent screen size
    and resolution (14" running at 1400x1050), and enough other amenity
    included to make a netbook unworthy of consideration.
    EMB, Aug 23, 2009
    #7
  8. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    Carnations Guest

    On Sun, 23 Aug 2009 15:47:07 +1200, Enkidu wrote:

    >> You'd take nothing - not even a cellphone - because no visitor is
    >> permitted to take an unapproved electronic device into a datacentre!

    >
    > That's bollux, Lennier. All you have to do is get permission from the
    > Data Centre manager and you could roll a Cray in there.


    Not without getting a change approved first, because, as you say, not without approval from the datacentre manager
    and from all other stake-holders.

    But you don't just walk in carrying even a cellphone. Actually, you don't just walk in!


    --
    "Filtering the Internet is like trying to boil the ocean"
    Carnations, Aug 23, 2009
    #8
  9. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    peterwn Guest

    On Aug 23, 5:15 pm, EMB <> wrote:
    > eyes wrote:
    > > EMB wrote:
    > >> Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    > >>> My Eee 701 is getting close to two years old now. On Thursday, it
    > >>> developed an interesting new problem: while I was in the middle of
    > >>> debugging a server software problem at a client's place, with three
    > >>> terminal sessions, a web page, and an editing window all open at the
    > >>> same time, the Eee went dead and spontaneously rebooted.

    >
    > >> You're nuts using a toy as a work tool.  Sort of sums you up quite
    > >> nicely really.

    >
    > > So what would take into a tightly packed server room? An HP DL380 G5??

    >
    > I'd generally do it from outside the server room - the only reason for
    > being in there is to make physical changes or use the console - neither
    > of which require a netwook with piss-poor screen resolution.
    >
    >
    >
    > > Personally I like netbooks for a range of purposes. Best part is they
    > > pack in the power of a desktop from a few years ago into a small
    > > platform which is more than capable of most tasks.

    >
    > I like my IBM T43 - not a lot bulkier than a netbook, decent screen size
    > and resolution (14" running at 1400x1050), and enough other amenity
    > included to make a netbook unworthy of consideration.


    And 2G of memory [grin].?
    peterwn, Aug 23, 2009
    #9
  10. In message <h6qj99$hgg$>, EMB wrote:

    > I like my IBM T43 - not a lot bulkier than a netbook, decent screen size
    > and resolution (14" running at 1400x1050), and enough other amenity
    > included to make a netbook unworthy of consideration.


    But can you sit it on your lap without cooking your privates?
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Aug 23, 2009
    #10
  11. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    EMB Guest

    Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    > In message <h6qj99$hgg$>, EMB wrote:
    >
    >> I like my IBM T43 - not a lot bulkier than a netbook, decent screen size
    >> and resolution (14" running at 1400x1050), and enough other amenity
    >> included to make a netbook unworthy of consideration.

    >
    > But can you sit it on your lap without cooking your privates?


    Sure can.
    EMB, Aug 24, 2009
    #11
  12. Lawrence D'Oliveiro

    JohnO Guest

    On Aug 23, 1:36 pm, eyes <> wrote:
    > EMB wrote:
    > > Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    > >> My Eee 701 is getting close to two years old now. On Thursday, it
    > >> developed an interesting new problem: while I was in the middle of
    > >> debugging a server software problem at a client's place, with three
    > >> terminal sessions, a web page, and an editing window all open at the
    > >> same time, the Eee went dead and spontaneously rebooted.

    >
    > > You're nuts using a toy as a work tool.  Sort of sums you up quite
    > > nicely really.

    >
    > So what would take into a tightly packed server room? An HP DL380 G5??
    >
    > Personally I like netbooks for a range of purposes. Best part is they
    > pack in the power of a desktop from a few years ago into a small
    > platform which is more than capable of most tasks.


    The screen on the 701 is too small for me to do anything with it for
    any time. I got a 10" Atom based netbook and the 701 sits on the shelf
    nowdays.
    JohnO, Aug 24, 2009
    #12
  13. In message <h6tseq$to8$>, EMB wrote:

    > Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
    >
    >> In message <h6qj99$hgg$>, EMB wrote:
    >>
    >>> I like my IBM T43 - not a lot bulkier than a netbook, decent screen size
    >>> and resolution (14" running at 1400x1050), and enough other amenity
    >>> included to make a netbook unworthy of consideration.

    >>
    >> But can you sit it on your lap without cooking your privates?

    >
    > Sure can.


    Bet not. My Eee is rated to consume only 22W tops. I can rest it on my open
    palm, and it barely warms my hand.
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Aug 25, 2009
    #13
  14. In message <>, JohnO wrote:

    > The screen on the 701 is too small for me to do anything with it for
    > any time. I got a 10" Atom based netbook and the 701 sits on the shelf
    > nowdays.


    Thought of selling it? Looks you could get a couple hundred bucks
    <http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/SearchResults.aspx?searchType=0002-&searchString=eee&type=Search>.
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Aug 28, 2009
    #14
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